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A MUM has revealed how she’s saved over £3,000 by ditching toilet roll, and she says that she’s never felt cleaner.
Helen Rankin has been running her reusable wipes company Cheeky Wipes for 14 years, initially flogging baby wipes that could be washed and reused.
The mum-of-four says that it didn’t occur to her to start using them herself until eight years ago when a customer mentioned they were doing exactly that.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Helen explains: “I hadn’t really heard of this concept before but that planted the seed in my head.
“A few weeks later on a Friday night I decided I was going to give it a go, after all I had ample supplies to get going immediately.
“I never looked back, we keep toilet roll in the downstairs loo for guests but I haven’t bought loo roll for us in all that time.”
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Helen's family of four kids Felix, 16, Jenny, 14, Erin, 11, Piper, 11, and her partner Pete, 49, who works in property development, now use the Cheeky Wipes every time they go to the toilet.
The £49.95 kit comes with a set of 50 wipes as well as a lavender and chamomile oil to keep the wipes moist and smelling fresh with every use.
They’re then placed in the ‘mucky bucket’ within a net bag with tea tree oil to keep them smelling fresh until they are chucked in with the wash to be used again.
But while Helen says that her wipes are beyond hygienic, that never stops trolls from weighing in.
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“Everyone is always a bit squeamish,” she admits.
“People will tell us we’re disgusting and are often put off by the idea of lumps of poo going in their washing machine.
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“Men are always a bit more reluctant, they’re horrified by the idea that the wipes might be going in with their work shirts, I know Pete was.
“But now he’s a total convert and agrees he’s never had a fresher feeling.
“Our wipes are stain free and you’ll be so much cleaner using them.
“It’s like what the comedian Chris Ramsay always says, ‘if you got dog poo on your arm you wouldn’t wipe it off with tissue.’”
While initially the idea of reusable wipes might not be the most appealing, Helen says that Covid gave her business a whole new influx of customers.
She says: “I was the first one to try it at work and then the great Covid toilet roll crisis hit and our kits just went nuts.
“A huge number of my team switched to using reusable wipes and have never gone back.
“And the same thing happened with many customers during that time, they wouldn’t dream of going back to toilet roll.”
As well as leaving her family and carbon footprint cleaner, Helen says that getting rid of loo roll has done wonders for her finances.
She says: “The average family is spending £400 a year on toilet paper meaning that over the past eight years I’ve put away around £3,200.
“The cost of washing them and drying them is minimal compared to what you're spending on paper.
“Whenever I do have to buy toilet rolls I’m horrified by the huge price tag. A nine pack is about £8 these days which is a huge cost.
“A nine pack of toilet roll wouldn’t last you long with four kids so I really do appreciate my wipes on the odd occasion I do have to buy paper.
“That £8 could be the difference between having your heating on for an extra hour.”
Helen says that while she does occasionally buy loo roll for guests, she would never consider going back to the disposable stuff herself.
“There’s no way I could go back to using just tissue,” she says.
“When there’s the option to use something that has so many other benefits why would I?
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“It’s not time consuming or hassle or gross or else I wouldn’t be doing it.”
Visit Cheeky Wipes for more information on reusable toilet paper or to purchase your own set.
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